Ca Mau (VNA) - More than 44,500 ha of forest in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau is at high risk of catching fire due to a prolonged hot spell and drought, according to the forest ranger division under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Over 7,230 ha is at the extreme fire danger level - the fifth and highest, while 17,650 ha is at the fourth level, of high danger, the division said on April 8.

Hot and dry weather has caused water levels to drop in canals, and as a result there will be a shortage of water resources for fire prevention and fighting during this year’s dry season, it added.

A majority of forests facing high and extreme fire danger are in the U Minh Ha National Park and the communes of Nguyen Phich, Khanh An, Khanh Lam and Khanh Thuan in U Minh district, and on Hon Khoai Island.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Quan has requested that the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development strengthen forest fire prevention measures and speed up the installation of AI-powered security cameras in forests.

By the end of this dry season, or early June, the forest ranger division will deploy personnel on all day-and-night watches of forests, in order to promptly deal with any emergencies./.